a poem a day for a year #12

by Amy Turn Sharp


It's the year of my 20th high school reunion

it will come quickly like all things do that loom

when did my life become so similar

to a bad prodigal son motif in a sitcom?

 

All roads lead back home they say

and everywhere I look there are signs that I will spend some time this summer

piecing back my memory

tracing history with

clinky glass beer bottles

spending time in the thick

green

hot

woods

 

 

everyone jokes about losing weight

and looking sexy

fit

better

so that necks rubber snap like taffy

when you walk through big doors

of some old amory or hotel banquet room

stars hanging from the ceiling

spinning

old signs and photographs

announcing how far you have come

 

I think about that too

but mostly I think about how there are ghosts in the hills down there

plenty of dead people

even ones that are alive but dead to me

I need to pack a ouija board in my suitcase

 

once I asked for a rolodex for Christmas

you know the old school rotating flip file object

that held tiny cards to record contacts

Well I was seventeen and I had a lot of friends

but mostly I wanted to collect information

make tiny scribbles about the people I knew

birthdays

favorite colors

how many times I had kissed them

what they smelled like

the way they hurt me

the way they found my fire

the way they did not understand my voice

 

I was a baby poet

practicing how to take people apart

with my words

pushing them back together

and walking away

 

if i could find that old relic now

spin it

watch it flutter

touch the cards with fingertips

I would be in ecstasy

because I could take out each card

and hold it up to the person

squint

and

remember

sweet memory recall

sweet history

 

and I would hand the cards out to all the people

the kings and queens and freaks and lovers and haters and misanthropes

just walk up and stick my hand out and shove the tiny paper

in their hand and run to the giant punch bowl

and after several drinks

just let everyone know

that I was so much older then

I'm younger than that now